Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Copper Sphynx

Oxfurred Comma may be over, but our celebration of furry authors is not! We have so many interesting voices in the furry writing community, and today’s author is no exception to that!

Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?

My most recent project is a furry slice-of-life/rom-com graphic novel. The inspiration came from a rumor when I was in high school during the 90s. The rumor was so intriguing that I kept it as an idea, started to draft it in the early 2000s, but kept putting it down to start anew. 2018 is the umpteenth time but I now consider an official draft. I also returned to my Tabber the Red works, what I call my Cat Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery short story series.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?

The fact I can have serious discussions with folks from all walks of life about one of my favorite genres is one dream come true I did not see happening. When one grows up as an 80s child, there wasn’t a lack of stories as cartoons, both weekdays and Saturday mornings, that did not involve talking animals and anthro animals as protagonists. I write furry fiction since these were many of the stories that touched me as a child and inspired me as a pre-teen to tell my own stories “when I grew up”.

What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

I’ve gotten better with outlining and plotting over the years but I still consider myself a pantser by the fact that I get an idea, a scene, or a conversation, write it out, and if the story progresses, I begin to outline further into that scene and/or conversation. I plot and subplot for the overall story itself.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

Dialogue. Monologues. Conversations within a crowd. Readers often tell me it is my internal monologues or dialogues between characters that pull them into my stories. It’s why if I’m doubting myself or I can’t figure out a particular scene, I start with dialogue.

What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?

The underdog, the social outcast, or the pariah as the protagonist. I enjoy reading stories outside my cultural and faith background. When I read multicultural stories, I don’t feel so lonely in the world. I also like stories where the feminine is not derided but celebrated. I love and respect the Romance genre and like that it’s cropping up in more Speculative Fiction. I also enjoy Adventure and Comedy. Though I can’t stand real-life political machinations, politics make the world go round and I enjoy stories when political situations are woven well into the worldbuilding.

Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?

I often identify most whatever I’m currently working on. In one of my non-furry science fiction series, two published by Kyanite Press/Publishing, I identify strongly with my human psychic, Catriona, who shares my initials but cultural background. She is intuitive, introverted, and socially awkward though, unlike me, she’s a successful business person. In my current work-in-progress graphic novel, my furry protagonist, Yanina, shares my artistic and writing background. She was bullied back in school, yet, like me, books and her creative life saved her.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

First, comics, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, and webcomics from the US and abroad. Dell Yearling(middle-grade novels) imprint, Harlequin Romances, Tor Books, Del Rey SFF, Avon SFF and Romance, and organized crime books.

What is the last book you read that you really love?

Toritan by Kotetsuko Yamamoto, a duology manga about a 20-something gay Japanese man working as an investigator who ends up doing odd jobs for his neighbors and community. He’s able to understand birds and talk to them! There’s also a first-time romance in the story. I love how the local birds interacted with him and had different personalities!

Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?

Cartoons, animations, classic films, SFF movies, sitcoms both here and overseas, Anime, Asian and Asian-American media. Right now, I’m reading even more webcomics and ebooks because of the pandemic. I also enjoy Japanese movies and South Korean dramas. However, if I’m able to watch shows and movies from other regions such as Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle-east, and Eastern Europe with the help of subtitles, I don’t complain.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

Read broadly, read widely, and read outside one’s comfort levels. I’ve seen my writing and storytelling grow because I tried out books I might not have read otherwise. It’s why, though Furry, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Romance, and comic books are my go-to’s, I can read other genres comfortably. Also, try out the prompts, the challenges, and keep journals/notebooks/diaries. One never knows that a past idea scrap may solve a future plot hole or get that next story idea.

Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?

A spec-fic writer asked for more than just the Hero’s Journey in his science fiction. I offered a blog by another spec-fic author with a Jewish-Korean background. On her blog, she mentions how Korean storytelling differs from Western storytelling. She also gave other cultural storytelling examples. I’ve been doing myself a favor to read more myths and folklore from as many cultures as I can find and access. Also, and I *think* I mentioned this on my blog, but my first published piece, which was my FIRST Furry story “Su Ling” was influenced a Tang Dynasty short story. I want for Furry fiction as for other favorite genres: more writers from different cultural backgrounds/experiences  which may bring more variety in storytelling structures and more cultural coding in furry characters.

Where can readers find your work?

You can find direct links to my writings and official publication list at The Angry Goblin @ – http://theangrygoblin.wordpress.com and my website at Tabber the Red @ – http://www.tabberthered.com

Check back tomorrow for an interview with another one of the many great writers in the fandom.

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